Restore Us, O God
“The workmen did their work, and through them the repairs progressed. They restored God’s temple to its specifications and reinforced it.” – 2 Chronicles 24:13
A big thanks to all who keep coming back and showing your love and support! Much love to you, and many thanks. As always, I appreciate you!
And to some very, very special people in my life, a huge thanks and show of my love and appreciation. My nieces and my nephew are a joy to me that I cannot even begin to explain. They are all so talented, creative, compassionate, and smart. It’s been many days where I’ve been down and their kind words, their jokes, their smiles, and their mere presence has lifted me. And they are beautiful – and handsome (my GQ nephew). God knew how much I love life and children and that I wouldn’t have any of my own. So, He blessed me with them. I would gladly give my life for any one or all of them. You are so very important to me, and there is no kind of life without you in it. Thank you for loving and supporting me in a way that only you all can. You light up my life, and I love you more than you will ever know.
It’s on days like certain ones when I feel bad, that my nieces and nephew help to bring me hope.
In my job, when customers experience issues with their products – mostly minor, they contact my employer for assistance. If someone’s product isn’t working as it was designed to do, then naturally, they seek out a way to bring the product back to its original working condition.
For example, the screen of one of their electronics freezes or it will not power on or it has been accidentally damaged. When that happens, no one asks a technician to fix their device by adding new bells and whistles to it. They don’t expect to take a device in for repair and receive back one that has upgrades to the original design. They don’t send in a Dell and expect to have it returned with Apple features. That’s not how it works. People want their product, that they put a lot of research into before buying and hundreds or even thousands of dollars into its purchase, to be returned back to them in its original condition.
And oftentimes, technicians have to restore their devices to its original factory settings in order to resolve issues that have risen during their use of them. The restore that has to be done gets rid of any errors and any irregularities that caused the device to deviate from its intended use.
Like the product that begins to perform in a way that is not consistent with its original blueprint, Christianity across the world, in many ways, has done the same. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the Catholic church building, he sparked a reformation which led into Protestantism. While a break away from un-scriptural practices and confining laymen to rely on clergy for their knowledge of God and the Bible was a good thing, reformation and restoration are two different things.
A friend of mine likened the two to restoring a classic vehicle to its original state as opposed to “pimping it out” with three different paints, rims, hydrolics, and loud stereo systems. Leno would have a fit if someone did that. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a pimped-out church or pimped-out Christianity. I want to be a part of a restored church – one that is walking in the original pattern that Christ designed for it to be.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of “pimped-out” churches today. The analogy that Allen Webster uses in “The Restoration Plea” of brand name products is befitting. He explains that many name brand products have lost their distinctiveness because everyone has come to associate anything like it with that name brand. He states that, “The Trademark Association calls this problem ‘genericide’.” For instance, consider the brands Kleenex, Jell-o, or Band-Aid. No matter if you buy an off-brand product of a box of tissues or gelatin snack or bandage, people will reference them with the brand name that is well known.
While there are many congregations that bear the name church or the name of Christ, some are off-brand, cheaper versions of the real quality thing. If we want to hold to the pattern of sound teaching (Rom. 6:17, 18; 2 Tim. 1:13) and to not go beyond the things that are written (2 John 9), then we have to be and do things exactly how God wants us to.
“Lord, restore us to Yourself, so we may return; renew our days as in former times.” – Lamentations 5:21
I’ve discussed some about the pattern that God has designed for us His people to follow in our worship, in our giving, and in our living in The Pattern For Worship of The Church and The Organization Of The Church.
We need to be restored to New Testament Christianity. It’s not okay to change or re-form God’s divine plan and teachings for how we are to live and worship as Christians. We don’t need to re-make or re-produce God’s designs or His teachings. We need to restore them.
As Wayne Jackson put it, in his Restoration Plea, “There is the theory that the Christian religion was never designed to be static. Proponents of this concept allege that beyond a few minimal components (e.g. the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, and that he died for the sins of humanity) Christianity is free to “change” with the times. It may be altered to meet the whims of new generations. The Christian philosophy is thus free to experience an evolutionary development; hence, it is suggested, the “Christianity” of today may be vastly different from that of the first century, yet still have heaven’s approval.”
He added that that theory “has no scriptural basis whatsoever. Amazingly, however, it is advanced by a vast number of people who profess Christianity.” Jackson goes on to mention that the “Catholic Church makes no apology for the fact that she can modify her doctrine as the times change”. Apparently they once held the notion that it was a sin to eat meat on Fridays.
God’s design for His special people was never meant to be changed. Consider Jeroboam who was the first king of northern Israel. He deviated from God’s original plan of how He wanted to be worshiped. He changed the location of worship from Jerusalem to Bethel and Dan, he created graven images for the Israelites to worship, he appointed priests who were not Levites, he changed the day of the feast of tabernacles to the 15th day of the 8th month instead of the 7th, and he caused the people to sin in turning away from God’s plan (1 Kings 12:28-32).
It was King Joash who found a copy of the law and made a covenant before all the people of Jerusalem and Judah that they would restore the temple and worship as prescribed by the law. Joash did away with all the idolatrous worship, the idolatrous priests, and the idolatrous shrines and altars (2 Kings 23). There was no other king like him, who set to do everything according to the law of Moses (2 Kings 23:25).
“Next, the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant in the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord and to keep His commands, His decrees, and His statutes with all his mind and with all his heart, and to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book; all the people agreed to the covenant.” – 2 Kings 23:3
God cares how we are to worship Him. During the period of the Mosaic law, He was very clear that He wanted the law to be strictly adhered to: “Be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you are not to turn aside to the right or the left. Follow the whole instruction the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, prosper, and have a long life in the land you will possess” (Deut. 5:32-33). And under the law of Christ, God cares that we do everything as prescribed.
God told Moses to make everything for the tabernacle according to the pattern that was given to him (Hebrews 8:5). We, having a new and better covenant, are to do the same in reference to Christ’s church. We do not have the right or the power to change God’s teachings or what is morally acceptable based on the changing times of the day. The is objective moral truth. That truth is God’s word. We need to get back to it – not a reformed, pimped-out version of Christianity and church, but a restored people following the simple truths and teachings of God’s word. Can’t we just go back to the Bible? Let’s follow the design, the blueprint, the pattern that God has laid out for us.
To the non-believer and the believer who has been a part of pimped-out Christianity, alike: I love you. I love your souls. I want to see you in a saved condition. And, I want to be able to spend the rest of eternity with you in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – that is, if you will have the courage to be obedient to His will. I’m just glad that you are in a place now where you can hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Let’s not wait another minute to follow the full commands of God; let’s be altogether like Joash. He turned to and loved “the Lord with all his mind and with all his heart and with all his strength according to all the law of Moses, and no one like him arose after him” (2 Kings 23:25).
Do you want to be a part of a restored church? God will add you to it if you will believe in Jesus as Christ, confess that He is Lord, repent of your sins, be baptized, and live faithful until death.
I choose restored over reformed any day. What about you?
“Restore us, God; look on us with favor, and we will be saved.” – Psalm 80:3
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Webster, Allen. “The Restoration Plea.”
Jackson, Wayne, “The Restoration Plea.”